Sport

Johnson quashes injury rumours

Shaun Johnson.
Shaun Johnson. Richard Robinson

SHAUN Johnson's quiet outing on Monday night was not injury-related but the result of the young star being targeted for special attention from the Eels' defence.

Rumours swirled during the buildup to the 36-20 victory that Johnson was carrying an injury, however the Warriors' halfback insists he was and still is injury-free.

>> Latest sport news

"I feel pretty good. I feel better than I did last year," Johnson said.

Although he closely monitors a back complaint that surfaced during pre-season training in 2011, Johnson has had no trouble with it this season.

"It feels good. I just keep rehabbing it and keep doing my core work and hopefully it will stay good."

The injury rumour that spread last week appears to have started after Feleti Mateo tweeted Johnson asking him about "twist step hip". Rather than a reference to an injury, Johnson said Mateo was teasing him about the step he put on to set up Manu Vatuvei's opening try against Manly.

"He was just giving me a bit of stick for that one last week where I put Manu in for that try," Johnson said. "He's just been mocking me about it, saying 'you've got sore hips' and stuff like that."

Johnson lived up to his star billing in the season-opener at Eden Park, running seven times for 62m, scoring a try, notching three try assists, two offloads and a linebreak. His quiet night on Monday - when he received the ball 37 times but ran just three times for a total of 11m and didn't break a tackle or produce a single offload, line break or try assist - was down to being targeted by the Eels' defence.

"It was the first time I have really felt that a team was cracking down on me," he said. "They were calling me out and shooting up on me. Hopefully them doing that leaves James [Maloney] with a bit more space to play and I thought he played really well on Monday night.

"It is going to happen more and more and you've just got to adapt to it. I'm not always going to have the space that I like but I guess it is how I play against that sort of pressure. I'm more than happy to just drop people off and let Jimmy do all the glory stuff."

After playing second fiddle to Johnson against Manly, Maloney exploded against the Eels, scoring a try, creating two others and kicking six conversions from six attempts.

"They complement each other really well," coach Brian McClennan said. "They've got different styles. Parramatta really pushed some numbers to the right edge to defend Shaun but Shaun managed the game really well. Any time he gets tied up it can leave you exposed to Jimmy Maloney and that is what happened."

Topics:  new zealand warriors nrl shaun johnson


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

A splash of cash for community

CASH AVAILABLE: At the launch of the ETC community fund's grants are (from left) ETC chair Rod McKelvey and previous recipients from the House With No Steps, local initiatives co-ordinator Tori Smith and area manager Tina Purdon.

$120,000 up for grabs for community groups

Rainbow club shines at Gold Coast regatta

Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club at the Gold Coast's Broadwater regatta.

Teams battled it out in blistering heat

FORECAST: Perfect storm for a lazy weekend

Rain is on the way on the Northern Rivers.

Much needed heat relief expected to continue

Local Partners

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

DARIUS McCrary, who played Eddie Winslow on the ’90s sitcom Family Matters, has been accused of holding his infant daughter over a pot of boiling water.

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

Reality TV show gives Maryborough a boost

*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9.15pm Monday January 30* Sean Hollands and Susan Rawlings pictured after their wedding on the TV series Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

Maryborough looks good on reality TV show.

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

LOVERS: Grant and Chris have been together for more than three years, and Chris' parents refuse to acknowledge their son's fiance.

Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!